Three years after Enter the Wu-Tang, the fantasy rap album hit a peak with Dr. Octoganecologyst. The product of producer Dan "The Automator" Nakamura, rapper Kool Keith and a few others, it was a record defined by its concept of an extraterrestrial, time-traveling gynecologist and surgeon. Kool Keith took on the persona Dr. Octagon, the first of his many aliases that also included Dr. Doom and Black Elvis. The album is littered with strange references to Chewbacca, Star Trek, samples from pornography and background beats inspired by the music of old sci-fi films. It's an album that is perhaps more interested in being a trippy scrapbook of cultural ephemera than a pillar of geek devotion to a particular subject, but there's clearly a comfort and familiarity with geek culture as Kool Keith effortlessly raps about being an alien: "You may not believe, living on the Earth planet / My skin is green and silver, warhead looking mean / Astronauts get played, tough like the ukelele." The worlds of comic books, sci-fi, horror and kung fu movies have been mined for years by hip hop's most innovative practitioners, so it only makes sense that the latest great contribution to geek culture, videogames, find their own hip hop champion.


Charles Hamilton arrives as both an interpreter of videogame culture but also as an observer of more general 21st-century digital culture. As a visual representation of his particular take on the world, it's worth examining his blog. It is a striking combination of alternately fuchsia or blue font on an all-black background with countless references to Sonic and Sega littering the borders. It's not unusual to see a post with photos of every Sega console ever produced, along with numerous references to Hamilton's Super Sonic philosophy. It's a highly personal space where readers can follow along with the ups and downs of his internet feuds, his thoughts on all aspects of pop culture and the progress of his upcoming album. There are videos of old Saturn commercials and even an MP3 player widget shaped like a Nintendo controller. The posts are extensive, and it's clear that this isn't an aging rockstar being forced to write a few sentences at his agent's behest. This is a natural way of communicating for him.

Comments on